Irreverent Mama

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Where did this come from?"

Matthew stands in the entry, holding a clear plastic bag.

"It was going out with the garbage. It should have been leaning up against the bin. Why?"

"That's where I found it. I mean, where did it come from?"

The item in question, inside the bag, is a crocheted blanket. My grandmother would have called it an afghan (I'm not sure why). It's a hideous affair, huge granny squares made of something thick and scratchy, more twine than wool, in a visual assault of orange, brown, green, and yellow. I found it in the back of a storage area in the basement, where it's sat for a least three years, and am sending it to its just reward.

"It came from the storage room. You know I'm decluttering down there." He pauses. I can tell he's waiting for something more from me, but lord only knows what it might be. Communication is a tricky thing. I'm saying words, he's saying words, pretty simple words in this case. We each know what the other's words mean, but somehow, I can tell, meaning is not attached to the words we're tossing at each other.

We pause in befuddlement.

Then he says the words that make the whole thing clear.

"This is the blanket that my granny made for me when she was dying."


Good Lord.

And he found it propped up against a garbage tin in the drive. The blanket his granny crocheted for him as she lay dying. Oh. I feel a little sick.

"Good heavens. I didn't know that. Well, I guess we won't be throwing that out then, will we?"

And I take it from him and give him a hug. We have a cup of coffee, we chat of this and that. A couple of hours later, he heads up to bed.

Leaving me staring at this thing.

Which his granny made for him on her deathbed. We can't throw it out. (Damn, I wish he hadn't spotted it!)

But it's still ugly. Really, really ugly. (Utterly out of the question to toss it out now.)

And scratchy. And heavy. (How could she lift the damned thing on her deathbed? Maybe she smothered to death? Oh, good god. How crass of me. I am should be ashamed. No, I am. Sheepish, anyway.)

Oh, dear. (If he hadn't spotted it, it would be gone before breakfast, and no one would have been any the wiser.)

Oh, dear. (Because, after all, it's been in a basement storage room for three years now, and I had not a clue what it was. Nor did he know where it was. Or miss it, apparently.)

I return it to the storage room.

Where it will stay.


Labels: ,


  • Black bin bags from now on?

    By Blogger Z, at 3:34 a.m.  

  • Good thought! In fact, we usually use black or very dark green. This thing, however, had been stored in a clear, zipped bag, so I decided just to use that, not a real garbage bag. Lesson learned!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 7:30 a.m.  

  • Damn! Z beat me to it, bugger!

    By Blogger john.g., at 11:14 a.m.  

  • This is why I dont use my loft and am glad that most uk houses dont have basements, I would keep more than I do if I had storage room. I also forget what I have if I put it away which is why everything is 'out' in my house...I'm clean but untidy!

    By Blogger jenny, at 1:51 p.m.  

  • My husband is normally better about throwing things out than I am, but for some reason he has an emotional attachment to a disgusting, heavy, uncomfortable bedspread we've had for eons. I hate it and would dearly love to send it far, far away, so I can certainly sympathize.

    I can picture your afghan perfectly. Why is it that crocheters of afghans always use green and orange together? Or if not those two colors, something equally lurid and clashing? And why is the yarn (usually acrylic) always so scratchy and uncomfortable? There must be a reason!

    By Blogger Mary Witzl, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • John - That Z. She's quick on the keyboard. You snooze, you lose!

    Jenny - We have storage in the attic, too, but it's tidy and organized and I know just what's up there. (Camping stuff, mostly, which is only used once or twice a summer and needs a place the rest of the time.) The basement, though... brrr... But I'm slowly beating it into submission, and it give me NO END of satisfaction to THROW STUFF OUT.

    Mary - His emotional attachment to the disgusting, heavy, uncomfortable blanket has no compelling cause that you know? That would make it even harder to not accidentally-on-purpose burn a huge hole in it or something... (You're not a smoker, by chance, are you??)

    I've often wondered the same thing about afghans. In fact, we have several around the house, given to us when an elderly relative gave up her cottage. We have enough children around here that they do get put to good use on beds, but I am eagerly awaiting the day when this is unnecessary... For now, they are hidden in the childrens' rooms. Thank goodnes.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 8:20 a.m.  

  • Oh you cruel thing, you are either adicting your children to lurid coloured acrylic afgans, or ensuring their lifelong hatred of such. It may just not be the answer you expect...

    By Blogger The Boy, at 10:48 a.m.  

  • Boy - Oh, good LORD, I hope it's the latter!

    (Do you have an email address I can reply to when I've left answering in the comment box far too late? Mine is irreverentmama at gmail dot com - original, no?)

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 7:55 p.m.  

  • So this is easy. You wait until one of your kids has a milestone birthday, and you *ahem* pass on the afghan to them, with its weight of history and a gleam in your eye. :-D

    By Blogger Kat O+, at 12:46 a.m.  

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